Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s zucchini season. It’s everywhere, it’s cheap and it’s plentiful.

My garden is overrun with zucchini, what about you? Here’s an easy way to make a zesty, satisfying side dish – perfect for a festive Labor Day celebration.

We had this dish frequently in the summer growing up. The joy of growing up Mexican!


Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

Yield: 6-8 servings


8 ears of corn, shucked and cut from the cob
4 zucchini or squash, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups suero (whey) or buttermilk can be used as a substitute
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cheese, grated (Chihuahua, Monterey Jack, or cheddar)


Easy Tip for Getting Corn Off the Cob:
To remove corn kernels from the cob using a bundt pan, stand the shucked corncob upright, with the tip of cob placed in the center hole of the bundt pan. Holding the cob steady, use a sharp knife and make long downward strokes on the cob, separating the kernels from the cob.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir the onion in the hot oil, about 2 minutes then add the garlic for an additional minute until fragrant. Mix the zucchini and corn into the onion and garlic and cover until zucchini is tender; about 10 minutes. Uncover and stir the suero/buttermilk into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) to serve.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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18 Responses to “Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)”

  1. 1
    Paula — September 3, 2010 @ 9:03 am

    zucchini during the summer… that`s it :)

  2. 2
    Sylvia — September 3, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

    looks great, I love calabasitas!

  3. 3
    Elizabeth — September 3, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    Beautiful photo and fabulous recipe! A great combination of flavours for summer.

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — September 5th, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

      Hello Elizabeth,

      Thank you! I just took a peak at your blog…Gorgeous photos throughout. YAY, for beautiful food!

  4. 4
    Jessica — September 3, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    Delicious! I’m tired of zucchini bread, so this will be a very tasty option. Thanks!

  5. 5
    Christina — September 5, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    WOW…this is so very exciting!!! I’ve been enjoying your blog and reading about your family!! You are such an amazing woman and I’m so very proud to know you. Looking forward to our cook off on Saturday :) Thank you for allowing me to participate in this journey with you!! Hugs…and LOVE this recipe for zuchinni!! Can’t wait to make it :)

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — September 5th, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

      Hola beautiful lady! Thank you for the very sweet compliments! I’m very excited too! I know you are quite the chef in your kitchen so I look forward to hearing your feedback on any of my recipes.

  6. 6
    jeaninethurston — September 8, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    Yum… loved this recipe! :-) Looking forward to Saturday.

  7. 7
    heather — September 8, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

    i’m glad you enjoyed the marranito post. my fiancée and i fell in love with those from the panaderias down the street when living in southern texas. we’ll be back soon, so i can’t wait! i’m also glad you commented on squirrel bread b/c it gave me a chance to find your blog. i think i’ll find many great recipe inspirations here, including this one for tonight’s meal!

    cheers and thanks,


    • muybuenocookbook replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

      I’m glad we found eachother 😉 You can make my savory dish and I’ll make your sweet marranitos.

      Oink, oink!

  8. 8
    Cooking in Mexico — September 10, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    Thanks for visiting Cooking in Mexico. It is how I found your lovely blog. This and all the other recipes look very tempting.

    It sounds like you are north of the border. The corn here in Mexico is field corn, meant for cattle feed and for being ground when dry to make masa. I bought a small ear the other day, hoping its small size would indicate tenderness. Not! I could barely cut the kernels off the cob. I do miss sweet corn.

    Congratulations on the publication of your cookbook!


  9. 9
    vincent — September 12, 2010 @ 6:54 pm


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

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  10. 10
    Wedding Questions — September 13, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Thanks for the shucking tip, I am giving this a try, might save some fingers.

  11. 11
    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — September 15, 2010 @ 12:52 am

    That looks good! Nice way to enjoy some late summer vegetables!

  12. 12
    Collette Ojeda — August 18, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    SO excited to try this recipe! And dying for your cookbook to come out! I want to give it out as Christmas gifts!

    • Collette Ojeda replied: — August 19th, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

      p.s. What cheese do you suggest we use with this dish? :)

      • muybuenocookbook replied: — August 19th, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

        The cheese is optional, but I LOVE it with some asadero or Chihuahua cheese. Enjoy!!!

  13. 13
    Penny — April 30, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

    I love this in the summer, spring, fall and winter. Sometimes I throw some chicken or pork in and have a very tasty complete meal in no time.

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